IIT Bombay Punishes Students For Role in Play About Ramayana: Reports

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IIT Bombay Punishes Students For Role in Play About Ramayana: Reports

| Updated: June 20, 2024 13:55

Graduating students were reportedly fined higher penalties while junior students were barred from using the institute's hostel facilities.

New Delhi: Students at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay were fined and barred from using the institute’s hostel facilities for staging a play during a performing arts event, media reports have said.

Some alleged the play insulted the deities Ram and Sita.

A purported photo of a penalty letter signed by the institute’s registrar and posted online by the ‘IITBforBharat’ X account said a disciplinary body of the institute met last month to look into a complaint against the play and decided to fine one student Rs 1.2 lakh.

The letter, which is dated June 4, said the student was “involved directly in executing the play”, which was titled ‘Raahovan’, and also barred him from being recognised with “gymkhana awards”.

The student was to pay the fine by July 30, the letter read, adding that “any violation of the above conditions [would] lead to further strictures”.

According to the Times of India, which cited a student, at least seven other students were punished for having some role in the play, with graduating students fined Rs 1.2 lakh and junior students fined Rs 40,000 and barred from using the IIT’s hostel facilities.

One associate of the punished students told the Indian Express that the play, which was performed in March, was a “feminist” reinterpretation of the Ramayana and that neither the audience nor the judges had objected to it.

But the IITBforBharat account claimed in a post last month that at least 40 students filed complaints against the play with the institute’s authorities, demanding the students involved in the play be penalised and that a “cultural council” apologise publicly, among others.

Posts made or shared by the account, which says it represents volunteers who aim to have a “common space for Indic civilisational values”, have accused certain departments or faculty at the university of being “anti-Hindu”, or targeted them for protesting against government policies, such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

IIT Bombay has declined multiple media outlets’ requests for comment.

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